Austin Matthews, a tall right-arm seam bowler played in 51 matches for Glamorgan between 1937 and 1947, claiming fifteen five-wicket hauls, besides appearing in one Test Match for England in 1937, remarkably barely three weeks after making his debut for the Welsh county.
It had been a remarkable rise for Austin who had left Northamptonshire the previous summer after a disagreement over the terms of a new professional contract plus a delay in discussions over a possible Benefit Year having already spent ten years opening the bowling for the East Midlands county.
At the start of 1937 he believed that his county career was over, having taken up a coaching appointment at Stowe School and Cambridge University. In July 1937 he duly returned to his family`s home in Penarth and met up with good friend of Maurice Turnbull, the highly influential Glamorgan captain. At the time, the Welsh county had several bowlers missing through injury so Maurice asked Austin if he would help out. He agreed and duly he made his Glamorgan debut – now as an amateur – against Gloucestershire at Newport.
In the next match, against the New Zealand tourists at Swansea Austin proceeded to worry the Kiwi batsmen with his brisk away swingers, and in the following game against Sussex at Hastings, Austin returned match figures of 14/132 on a perfect batting wicket. Aware of how the experienced bowler had caused problems for the Kiwi batsmen, the England selectors called up Austin for the Third Test at The Oval with the Welshman claiming two wickets.
With England not touring in 1937/38 he did not get a chance to add further to his Test caps and instead returned to Stowe to continue his coaching duties, besides agreeing to help out Glamorgan for the next two seasons. They were very grateful for his efforts as he proved to be a consistent wicket-taker with the new ball and proved to be a good foil to fellow veteran Jack Mercer. Austin remained loyal to the Welsh county after the Second World War and appeared again for the Welsh county during 1946 and 1947. He was also a talented rugby player for Penarth and Northampton, besides appearing in a final Welsh trial.
MATTHEWS, Austin David George
Born – Penarth, 3rd May 1904.
Died – Penrhyn Bay, Llandudno, 29th July 1977.
Best performances for Glamorgan:
In first-class cricket – 37 v Essex at Chelmsford, 1946; 7/12 v Somerset at Pontypridd, 1946.